11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photography, Squares

April Squares: Top Shots, Malta

ISO 3200 f/9 a/30sec 18mm

Day 18, find other responses here.

Date and Location of Photo: July 23, 2018. St. Paul’s Cathedral, Mdina, Malta. The wonder of Malta in my opinion is its history. Seemly everyone has traipsed over the island. The apostle Paul was shipwrecked on the island, others arrived in a more deliberate fashion.  We came for both the history and the sunshine and were not disappointed.

Thoughts on the Edit: The ISO was set high as a way to compensate for the dark interior of the cathedral. The resulting noise was left in. I tend to leave noise in my photos, this is just a matter of personal taste. The photo has the Luminar Look, Too Cool for School, added. On another layers I added the golden hour filter and the Orton effect.

April Squares, an Explanation:

When Becky announced that the April Squares theme was going to be “top”, I thought it over and then sent her a message, then pitched my idea. She was open to my theme within the theme and the result is my response to the April Squares challenge.

I move a lot and I have a move pending. I’ve lived here in England for about four years and will be heading to the United States. Exact dates to be determined, given the current world situation, details have yet to be worked out. My April Squares is a “top shots” reflection on the last four years. Each square represents some moment or place that was meaningful to me. They are in chronological order moving forward in time. I’m attempting to post every day. All photos will be edited in Luminar 3. I hope you enjoy following along, I’ve enjoyed the process of creating. Your comments and thoughts are welcome below.


11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Siege Bell and War Memorial in Malta

My photography workflow tends to go something like this:

  1. Take lots of photos
  2. Backup all my files
  3. Delete photos that are obvious duds
  4. Process one or two photos that grab my immediate attention
  5. Allow files to age
  6. Delete photos that are duds
  7. Edit the rest
  8. Backup all my files

Step 5 is an important step for me. It gives me a chance to step back and then re-evaluate the files before I decide what I want to keep. Files I decide to keep generally fall into two categories, photos to sell and memory photos.  The photos in this post fall into the second category. I’ve edited them to keep for my personal collection, but won’t post them for sale:

How long do I let my files sit at step 5? At least a year. In this case, I am writing this is early May 2019 and the photos were taken in July 2018. I’m not in a huge hurry to delete files, but it is something that I continually work on, and a year is usually sufficient time to wait and come back with a more critical eye.

These photographs were taken of the Siege Bell and War Memorial in Malta. It dominates the landscape of the harbor of Valetta, although I think these photos don’t quite tell that part of the story. Two of the photos were taken on a boat trip, hence the faster shutter speed, the landscape wasn’t moving but I was!

Do you like these snapshots? Do you allow your photo files to age before deleting them? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Inspired by and a last-minute contribution to A Photo A Week Challenge, Three of a Kind.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Six Word Saturday, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Six Word Saturday, Blue Grotto Malta

White rocky shore,

Water vividly blue.

ISO 200 22mm f/11 1/320sec


Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Rock and Six-Word Saturday.

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Flowers, Instagram, iPhone, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

A Floral Surprise

It wasn’t just that these flowers were so pretty:

ISO 25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/400sec

It was that they were on the grounds of St. Paul’s Catacombs in Malta that made them a bit of a surprise. This photo was shot with my iPhone and has had very little editing.

Here is the Instagram version:

View this post on Instagram

#Flowers at the #catacombs #Malta

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

Do you have simple but lovely photos like that existing in your archives? Your thoughts are welcome below.


Added to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Pastel Colors, and Flower of the Day.


11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

In the Harbor

What can I tell you about this scene? Not a lot. It was taken in the harbor near Valletta in Malta. It’s a photo of three boats. I’m not even completely sure why I took the photo:

ISO 160 22mm f/22 1/60sec

So that’s not completely true, the scene appealed to me, I liked all the blues and the greys. I liked the uniform appearance of the boats. When I went to edit it, I went for a vintage looked. I darkened the sky and boosted the green tones:

ISO 160 22mm f/22 1/60sec

What will I do with this image? I don’t know, beyond keeping it just because I like it. What do you think of the edit? Do you sometimes keep images that you just like even if they have no other real use?  Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Travel with Intent, Threesome.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Wandering Wednesday

Malta Evening

Plenty of things have happened in my life that I didn’t really see coming. This scene is one of them:

ISO 1250 22mm f/16 1/60sec

It’s an evening shot of Valletta, Malta. If you had said a few years ago that I would visit I wouldn’t have argued with you exactly, as I do love to visit new places, it’s just that Malta wasn’t on my list of trips that I was planning. Upon reflection, it’s a little odd that I hadn’t been planning. A warm summer destination just steeped in history? A bit of a no-brainer for someone like me.

ISO 1250 22mm f/16 1/60sec

I’ve taken quite a few liberties with my edit here. I love the blue tones of the image, but in the edit, I wanted the warm night to feel a bit more distant and remote, like an older photograph you might find in an attic.  I was inspired to think this way by the history of the island itself. People have been coming and going through the area for a long time. Before them, all types of flora and fauna, and the land itself was very different.

For this particular edit, I changed the temperature, boosted the yellows, added grain, and desaturated the image a bit, a slight crop was also in order. The two images really do have a different feel.  Do you have a preference? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Shades of Blue and Live Laugh RV, Reflections

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Morning at the Grotto

I created this image after a recent boat trip to the Blue Grotto in Malta:

ISO 800 14mm f/9.0 1/1250sec


The original image is here:

ISO 800 14mm f/9.0 1/1250sec

For this particular edit, I wanted to draw attention to the row of boats. I cropped the photo using the rule of thirds as a guideline, placing the anchor painted on the first boat on the lower left grid point of the rule of thirds. That also cropped out the people on the bench, which for this edit, was something I wanted to do. When I was working with the color in the image, I boosted the whites to make them separate a bit from the blue tones. I also brought up the exposure just a bit. I didn’t want to totally lose the shadows of the early morning though, the sun is encroaching, but it was still cool in this spot, and I wanted the tones to still keep the feel of that.

What do you think of this edit? Does it seem to reflect the cool calm of morning before the day is fully up and running? Within the half hour, all these little boats would be busy running tourists out to see the beautiful blue waters of the grottos in this area.  Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge: Row.